Unnatural Death: Confessions of a Medical Examiner Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Michael Baden
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How are most people identified in a mass disaster?

2. What is the rule for jurisdiction when it comes to a dismembered body?

3. What did Baden give to the biologist that allowed him to give a time of death for the 55 year old woman of at least a year and a half?

4. What does Baden believe is a reflection of the way people live?

5. What were resurrectionists during the time of the French Revolution?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe why there was controversy surrounding the death of Elvis.

2. Explain why Baden chose forensic medicine as his profession.

3. Describe why Baden notes the conspiracy theorists' use of the head movement of Kennedy after his shooting leads to unreliable conclusions.

4. Explain how the body of Theresa Ferrara was identified and why there were different strands of hair on her torso.

5. Describe the blunders that occurred during the Levin and Chambers case.

6. Explain Baden's experience of the convergence of hospital medicine and the morgue, and why the event had an impact on him.

7. Briefly explain the case of Ann Hart.

8. Discuss the symptoms of strychnine.

9. Explain how ricin came into fame in 1978.

10. Describe how Baden explains why the father of the female drug addict in Chapter Two has little emotion.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Baden closes the novel by noting that the system is failing, and has been failing for some time. Why does he say this? What does he attribute as the cause of this failure? What are some things he thinks can help fix the situation? Do you agree these things are important? Why or why not? After reading the novel, do you think forensic medicine, and the role of the ME, are important? Why? What power do they have? What are their responsibilities, and why are these important?

Essay Topic 2

Explain the case of Paul Fried in detail. What were the original circumstances surrounding Paul's death? What caused further investigation? What role did his wife, Catherine, play? What was their relationship like? Who came forward with information, and what was that information? How was a new cause of death discovered? What was the result? How did the autopsy findings affect this case? What does this say about the importance of a proper autopsy in any case of death?

Essay Topic 3

The novel discusses additional methods to deteremine time of death, those of the potassium eye test and the use of the digestive system.

Part 1) List each method, and discuss, in detail, how that method helps determine the time of death.

Part 2) Compare and contrast the methods. How are they the same? How are they different?

Part 3) Compare these methods with rigor mortis, livor mortis, and algor mortis. Why are these methods sometimes needed? What benefit do these methods have that the others do not? Be sure to explain your answer using examples from the book.

(see the answer keys)

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